SHANGHAI, China and MCLEAN, Va. - Leading global hospitality company Hilton (NYSE: HLT) and Shimao Group Holdings Ltd. (Shimao) today announced the signing of a landmark agreement to launch four luxury hotels in China: Waldorf Astoria Shenzhen, Conrad Shanghai, Conrad Wuhan and Conrad Zhuhai. When they open, the hotels will mark the entry of Hilton’s iconic luxury brands, Waldorf Astoria and Conrad, in the four cities, while Conrad Shanghai takes the spotlight as the largest Conrad hotel in Asia to open, with more than 700 rooms.
The multi-deal signing signals optimism from both companies on the luxury tourism outlook in China and a commitment to extending their partnership which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Since the signing of their first hotel in 2011, the partnership has seen Hilton and Shimao Group work together to launch nine commercially successful hotels, including Hilton Wuhan Riverside and Hilton Yantai, with another Hilton hotel due to open later this year.
Alan Watts, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton, said, “As an organization that has been at the forefront of guest innovation in the travel industry for over a century, Hilton has a wealth of experience in anticipating future trends that will impact travel. Today’s signing with our partners at Shimao Group is a big leap forward for Hilton’s luxury portfolio, reflecting the optimism that we collectively have in China’s growing luxury travel segment. We are delighted to also be celebrating our 10th anniversary with Shimao Group this year. Together we are confident this partnership is positioned to set the standard for long-term strategic relationships between hospitality companies and critical ownership groups in China.”
Tyrone Tang, chairman & CEO, Shanghai Shimao Hotel Management Company, and CEO of Shimao Star Hotels Group, said, “The signing of these four luxury hotels with Hilton is testament to our mutual optimism of the luxury travel market in China, especially in this current era where we are experiencing a rise in interest in cultural tourism. We hope to continue working hand in hand with Hilton to jointly build an enabling ecosystem for the hospitality industry and further enhance Chinese consumers’ luxury experiences at the hotels we will launch together.”
According to a recent survey1 by Horwath HTL, hotels spanning the upper-midscale and luxury segments bucked the development trend in 2020, with deals involving luxury hotels reporting a year-on-year increase of 167%. With market uncertainties amidst the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in investors and owners being more risk-adverse, there is an inclination for them to seek partnerships with renowned hotel management companies. With its proven track record in luxury hotel management and a strong commercial engine driving the performance of its award-winning brands, Hilton is well positioned to meet the expectations from a growing population of luxury hotel owners.
Matt Fry, senior vice president, development, Asia Pacific, Hilton, said, “The extension of Hilton’s partnership with Shimao signals a complementary meeting of two powerhouses and is testament to the success of our development strategy in China to work with the right partners to grow our brands in the right locations. Hilton’s rich experience in delivering luxury hospitality, supported by our strong commercial engine, will be the driving force of the performance of the hotels when they open. We are delighted to once again be working closely with Shimao Group and look forward to setting the benchmark for luxury hospitality together with them in each of the key cities the hotels will launch in the coming years.”
Waldorf Astoria Shenzhen
As Hilton’s first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Shenzhen, the hotel will be located in the newly developed CBD and in close proximity to Shenzhen Hong Kong International Centre. Easily accessed through one of the city’s three international airports, guests can arrive at the hotel within an hour by car. In the near future, the approved masterplan of the Shenzhen railway network will increase the accessibility from the hotel to downtown Shenzhen, Huizhou, Dongguan and Hong Kong.
A prime example of a true luxury conversion, Conrad Shanghai will be the first hotel under the luxury brand in Shanghai and Hilton’s largest Conrad hotel in Asia with more than 700 rooms, expanding Hilton’s luxury footprint in one of the major gateway cities of China. Targeted to open in early 2022, the hotel is located at People Square, the most renowned tourism and business district of Shanghai which is also in close proximity to various tourist destinations and commercial centers, as well as office buildings.
Launching along the Yangtze River, Conrad Wuhan will be the first Conrad hotel to enter the city. Guests at the hotel will enjoy spectacular river views, while renowned tourist attractions such as Yellow Crane Tower, Guiyuan Temple and East Lake are within a short 30-minute drive. As one of the most popular destinations for meetings and events businesses in China and strongly supported by the local government, Wuhan is set for growth. The Wuhan International Expo Center, which is located near the hotel site, is the third-largest exhibition center in China, placing the hotel in a strong position to meet future MICE demand in the region.
Conrad Zhuhai will be located in the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Port City on the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge (HZMB). As Hilton’s first Conrad Hotel in Zhuhai, the hotel is expected to open up the luxury market for Hilton to capture Zhuhai's high-end customers who are looking for authentic and impactful experiences. The hotel’s premium location, encompassed by Hong Kong and Macao, is set to benefit the hotel with an anticipation of both business and leisure travelers.
Dino Michael, senior vice president and global category head, Hilton Luxury Brands, said, “The continued expansion of two of our distinct luxury brands into China speaks to the rich opportunities Hilton sees in this region for discerning business and leisure travelers. Both our iconic Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotel brands will provide guests with a familiar sense of effortless service and elegant design as they explore and immerse themselves in new cultures, cuisines and environments.”
Hilton currently operates 15 luxury hotels across its Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands in Greater China, with 11 hotels in its luxury pipeline including the first Conrad hotels to open in Jiuzhaigou and Urumqi this year.
1 Horwath HTL丨2020 Report on the Deals Signed by Above-Mid-to-High-End Hotels in Mainland China https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/4MAqdXmkpDiJ6tzhLO6mbA
Hilton is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 22 world-class brands comprising more than 7,500 properties and nearly 1.2 million rooms, in 126 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed over 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune and has been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for seven consecutive years. Hilton has introduced industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 180 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
About Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Spanning five continents with a benchmark of nearly 50 properties, creates a seamless connection between bold design, impactful experiences and curated contemporary art to inspire the conscientious traveler. Conrad is a place where guests are empowered to explore through intuitive service and experiences that authentically connect them with local culture. In addition to its award-winning hotel offerings, the brand also features an expanding residential portfolio combining sophisticated design, best-in-class amenities and purposeful service in sought-after destinations. Experience Conrad Hotels & Resorts by booking at conradhotels.com or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about Conrad Hotels & Resorts at stories.hilton.com/conradhotels, and follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning portfolio of more than 30 iconic properties that creates a unique sense of place with a relentless commitment to sincerely elegant service, one-of-a-kind experiences and culinary mastery in landmark destinations around the world. Inspired by their timeless environments, Waldorf Astoria hotels deliver an effortless experience seamlessly, creating a true sense of place for guests through stunning architecture, Peacock Alley, refined art collections, Michelin-starred dining and elevated in-room amenities. In addition to the brand’s world-class hotel offerings, Waldorf Astoria boasts a global residential portfolio that provides the comfort of a private home combined with unsurpassed amenities and high-touch service. Waldorf Astoria is part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company. Experience an unforgettable stay at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts by booking at waldorfastoria.com or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts at stories.hilton.com/waldorfastoria, and follow the brand on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.